6 comments on “Hitting The Pause Button To Express Appreciation!”

Hitting The Pause Button To Express Appreciation!

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From retro themed poetry to moments scrolling down memory lane, I truly love what I do as a writer. When I started http://www.vintageretroman.com, I began a journey of self realization and creativity through writing. I am aware that I do not think or operate like many people. I enjoy everything from Christian Hip-Hop to Pac-Man. I like to wear masks and costumes. I am entertained by everything from Nascar to Marching Bands. Most importantly I love the vintage and retro cultures of the past.

I never would have thought that 100 people would actually see my vision. For many years I did not showcase my writing ability because I simply thought that it was not good enough. I purposefully try to surround myself with other bloggers who are much better than me. It keeps me humble, and I learn so much from them. As I continue on my mission to provide the best content possible for the masses, I want to take a quick moment to hit the pause button and say thank you.

To my 100 followers on my blog, and almost 1000 followers on Instagram, I genuinely appreciate your support. I have been through so many things this year that were negative, but my blogging community has been a true blessing in my life. When I lost my father in March, you have been there. When I was in the hospital 2 weeks ago, you encouraged me. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for understanding me. I may not be the best at many talents, but rest assure with me you will always get sincerity and authenticity. It is how I live my life and how I will continue on.

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Me with my youngest daughter, 2018

Thank you for every like, every kind word, and every thought and prayer. You are appreciated. Please remember, my only goal is to make you feel like a kid again. Operate with passion. Structure your heart with love for others. Remember not to take life too seriously. Lastly, never let life dictate how far you can make it! On to 200 followers! 🙂

V.R.

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2 comments on “Samus- Destined For Greatness- Part 1 (The Kidnapping)”

Samus- Destined For Greatness- Part 1 (The Kidnapping)

It is amazing how growing up, some stories have a lasting impact on your life. They are stories of courage, perseverance, overcoming nearly impossible odds. Stories of how unlikely people can grow to become something great! Since I was a kid, one of my favorite stories was actually the story of Samus Aran from the hit Nintendo (NES) game and series, Metriod! Samus was the original “Gamer Girl”. In 1986, she became the first major female protagonist in video game history! Her story and her legacy still continues today and she has become a well respected character in not just video game history, but all art forms. Because of this, I have decided to capture her story from a different perspective for my readers. Below is part one of my new series entitled “Samus- Destined For Greatness”. Enjoy!!!

(Scene is an exploding planet and destruction everywhere)

A concentrated gamma ray strikes a planet, increasing the core pressure literally tore it open.

(Samus hears a whispering voice) Samus wake up, Samus wake up! We are under attack!/

Pirates are raiding K-2L, and the planet is ramshackled/

I’m from the Chozo species, and you have been chosen/

We must leave at great pace, before this planet’s explosion/

I know you’re young, you will not understand what is going on/

Don’t cry baby girl, I know you probably feel so alone/

You have no idea that you are destined for such greatness/

As we approach the planet Zebes you will find what await us/

Zebes

Experimentation, and infusion of our DNA/

As you grow and become stronger you will learn the right way/

We know it’s tough being an orphan and we can’t speak on your parent’s/

We understand that this planet, compared to your last, there is a large variance/

Samus, look at me and dry those tears from your eyes/

My name is Old Bird, a Chozo elder and your ally/

I promise, we’ll get to the bottom of these diabolical acts/

As we record these events in a series of triological facts/

** And so the Samus child grew, the only survivor from K-2L/

She was only 3 years old at the time of the evil Ridley’s prevail/

He and his pirates are responsible for her parent’s demise/

Little did they know from their actions, a future warrior would arise/**

Samus

**Part 2 coming soon, stay tuned in**

V.R.

2 comments on “Fun V.R. Retroquiz 7- 60’s/70’s Soul Music, Name That Singer!”

Fun V.R. Retroquiz 7- 60’s/70’s Soul Music, Name That Singer!

Ok vintage retro fans out there, time for another retroquiz! Let’s test your soul music knowledge and see if you can name that singer/group!

  1. They convinced the whole world that “ain’t no woman like the one they’ve got!”
  2. They pose the question, “Could it be we’re falling in love, with you baby?”
  3. This soul singer compared his woman to a “starship”, which happened to be the name of one of his biggest hit singles.
  4. If you are looking for “sunshine on a cloudy day” this group feels this about their girl.
  5. This soul singer stated that “Love and Happiness” will make you do wrong or do right.
  6. This soulful duo asked “Sara” to smile.
  7. This particular group asked the question “Have you seen her?”
  8. According to this group, “La la la means, I love you.”
  9. In the 1970’s, this legendary singer made us all question “What’s going on?”
  10. According to this singer’s perspective, things are finally going his way “For once in his life.”
  11. This group was so excited about their ladies, they couldn’t help but sing “Betcha by golly wow! You’re the one that we’ve been waiting for, forever!”
  12. “What you won’t do for love?” That is the thought provoking question that this soul singer probed his audience with.
  13. She expressed her secret crush via song by stating, “If you only knew, how much i do, do love you.”
  14. She stated that she only wanted one thing from her significant other, which is “RESPECT”
  15. This soul singer did not feel respected in his home. Therefore he made the classic hit, “If you think you’re lonely now” to express that men feel used sometimes as well.

Well folks, that’s all for this quiz! Don’t forget to post your comments in the comment section below, as well as see the answers. Until the next quiz my friends, God bless!😊

Answers: 1) Four Tops 2) Spinners 3) Norman Connors 4) The Temptations 5) Al Green 6) Hall and Oates 7) The Chi-lites 8) The Delfonics 9) Marvin Gaye 10) Stevie Wonder 11) The Stylistics 12) Bobby Caldwell 13) Patti Labelle 14) Aretha Franklin 15) Bobby Womack

8 comments on “Back From The Present- My Wake Up Call”

Back From The Present- My Wake Up Call

Throughout my life there have been times where danger lurked in unexpected area’s and I had to push the pause button to refocus on the things that are most important to me. To my readers, I apologize about my short hiatus. I have been so busy, trying to work hard at my day job and even harder on my blog. The stress of work, parenthood, losing my father a couple of months ago, along with a few health issues and too much caffeine through my core out of balance. Recently, I spent some time in the hospital from everything going on in my personal life. Because of this, I was forced to take a quick break from my blog.

As I sat in the room of the hospital with EKG’s and IV’s attached to me, I laid back for a while and just thought about the simpler times in life. The times when things were not as serious. I thought about my childhood, when life was less stressful regarding responsibilities. Time seemed so much slower. The world was less complex than today with smart phones and social media. With my loving wife by my side, it was surreal me being in that position. I felt scared, anxious, and not in control of anything. I started to think of something that I feel we all need to be aware of.

Self-sufficiency has real limitations. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we need to work hard and be ambitious. As important as that is, I do believe that there are times in life when we need to realize that we cannot do it all on our own merits. As a Christian man, I do believe what the Bible says in Philippians chapter 4 which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. I also know that there are times when God give’s us a wake up call to get our attention. This was one of those times for me.

As I waited anxiously for the results of the tests to come back on my heart, it seemed as if the minutes and seconds took an eternity. Honestly I am not a fan of doctor’s and hospital’s, so the fact that I drove myself there and checked myself in was a big step for me. I am a pretty stubborn guy, so it has to be something really wrong for me to check into the emergency room. I laid back in the hospital bed, still in my work attire because I left work early to check into the ER.

As each nurse came in, my heart rate would raise. Then as they encouraged me, it would fall again. Soon the doctor would come in and tell me that all of my tests came back normal, and gave me recommendations on things that I can do to become a healthier person. I praised God, kissed my wife, and was able to be discharged. When I saw my 4 children again, I kissed them and they hugged me and asked me how I was doing. I looked into their innocent faces, and realized just how fragile our bodies are.

I am writing this post because I know how powerful God is. I know that He is a healer. This is my testimony. He is the great comforter. He allows doctors and nurses to obtain their positions. He gives them the knowledge to do their work and help people, even save the lives of some patients. I believe that when we realize the limitations of self-sufficiency, it forces us to rely on something bigger than ourselves. Bigger than our work, and larger than our agenda. I am grateful for my life.

I just wanted to take a brief moment to share a wake up call with you. I don’t know what you may be going through right now, but God does. I know that life can be hard at times, but it is only temporary. I know that anxiety and suicidal thoughts are real. Remember, you are not supposed to be the victim but the victor in your situation. Is God trying to get your attention like He was mine? Do you need a moment to pause, pivot, and refocus on Him and what is really important like family, friends, and taking care of yourself?

Remember, your body is a temple. God gave it to you to be a good steward over it and take great care of it. This is a simple reminder that you cannot take care of anyone else if you do not take care of yourself, and that is not selfish at all. Take that vacation, enjoy some time off work. Do not let anyone make you feel like you are less of a person because you want to take time to invest in your most important asset, yourself! Please use my situation this past week and learn from it. I surely have. I wish you all nothing but love, peace, and happiness. Remember, “never let life dictate how far you can make it”.

V.R.

10 comments on “Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle”

Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle

I was born and raised in the great state of North Carolina, USA. Being a black child in the southeastern section of the United States, or as we simply call it “The South”, I was exposed to many different experiences in my youth. I remember growing up in the 1980’s in my hometown of Winston-Salem. My family would ride down the streets and smell the scent of southern sweet tobacco from the R.J. Reynolds factories. Summers were hot and humid. The city was bustling back then, with one of the most gleaming skylines in the state.  When my father decided to move in the late 1960’s from Danville Virginia to seek better opportunities, he decided that Winston-Salem NC was the place that he wanted his future family to call “home”.

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My family in 1985. The toddler hoisted up on my brother’s back is me

Growing up in the eastern section of Winston-Salem in the 1980’s and 1990’s was not easy. Some called it “the hood” back then. We did not live in public housing, but in a high crime neighborhood of single family homes. Sure we heard gun shots. There were no known organized gangs that I can remember, but plenty of smaller “cliques” of young men and women trying to “prove” themselves. As a young man, I saw my share of drug activity. We saw plenty of fights and were involved in some as well. My father and mother worked hard to provide the best life for our family that they could, but opportunities were limited like it is in many inner cities in the United States.

As the youngest in my family, I have always respected and paid homage to my older brothers and sisters. I knew what some of them were doing, but they did their best to shield my innocent eyes and help mold me into something great. Since my father worked so much, my mother took care of us and tried her best to keep us out of trouble. Even still, we were a hard headed bunch. Our family was so large, we ran the neighborhood. I don’t say that lightly. My dad was well respected in the streets and everyone knew Edward Price aka “Dino” aka “Lil Dintsy”. My dad had rules for our family when it came to the streets. He stressed things like “If one of you fights, all of you fight” and “Take God with you everywhere you go.”

Although there was bad, I honestly saw a lot of good in our neighborhood though. It was truly a community, where neighbors looked out for one another. Many families in the neighborhood may have had a lower income, but the camaraderie that we shared with other families created so many positive memories! You haven’t played basketball until your hoop is made out of a clothes hanger! 🙂 Other parents looked out for us, and our parents looked out for other kids all of the time! We would walk to the candy house and played football in the street. It was a great time and place to live, to be honest.

My brothers had the big flat top haircuts with the sharp part back then. A couple of them had the gold chains and nice clothes. I knew that my parents couldn’t afford those things, so as a kid I asked myself questions like “Why did mom and dad get that stuff for just them, and not all of us?” I started to figure out that a couple of my brothers had other sources of income, lol. You can read between the lines. I didn’t fully understand until later on in life the reasoning behind my brothers doing some of their extracurricular activities. They grew up in the 1970’s, so they had a whole different experience that I secretly envied yet admired.

Yet I can truly say, they always did their best to shield me from the streets, and I appreciate that so much. A large part of why I fell in love with video games back in the 80’s was the fact that they used Nintendo to keep my focus away from the outside world. My brothers would play Megaman, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and many other titles with me and I loved it. I didn’t know that secretly, they used gaming to keep me in a child’s place. I also believe that it helped them remember that life is not supposed to be serious all of the time as well. My brothers and sisters were some of the most hardcore NES gamers that I have ever met! Double Dragon and Contra, you don’t want to challenge my brothers Tim or Julius, trust me! 🙂

As I got older, in particular my pre-teen and teenage years, my siblings exposed me to more. I remember around 1993-1994, they took me out riding around the city and introduced me to different people and experiences. Siting on housing project doorsteps of friends and cousins that lived there at that time, I learned some of the most valuable lessons that stick with me to this day. I also fell in love with Hip-Hop music during this era. In that big yellow “hoopdie” car, my brothers would listen to everything from OutKast’s “Southernplaylisticcaddilacmusik” to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. I was young, and although it wasn’t the best music for a young man’s ears, it was part of my experience that I learned many things from through those songs.

By the time I reached 13 years old in 1996, my parents moved out of East Winston-Salem to the Ardmore neighborhood, which was a nicer mixed family middle class neighborhood. Lower crime, better schools, and more opportunity which are all great things. One thing I noticed though, was that the sense of community was very different. Most people in the neighborhood were very individualistic. Parents really did not want their children to come out and play. People were relatively nice, but more distant. This is where I learned that racism and class warfare still existed. It was not out in the open like it was back in the 1950’s, 1960’s,and 1970’s. It was very subtle and discrete, but I felt it and experienced it. Yet still I was blessed because I had a mother and father that were actively involved in the civil rights movement decades before, and they taught me that love and communication changes environments, not hatred. They also taught me how to handle myself and not be weak, timid, or naive either. It was a good mix of the two.

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My family on Easter Sunday, 2017

These are just a few experiences that helped make and mold me into the man that I am today. I am far from perfect and I do not pretend to be. Yet I wrote this as a reminder to find the beauty in your struggle. Coming from where I’m from, I learned many things through bad experiences. You never want to denounce the negative experiences in your life. Think of where you would be and the wisdom you would have missed, had you not gone through your negative experiences. Find the beauty in your struggle, because as  my favorite North Carolina rapper J.Cole correctly stated, “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Love yours.” Signing off for now…………….

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V.R.

 

2 comments on “A Vintage Retroman’s Plea From The “Green Hill Zone” Part 3, “The Recovery?”- (Finale of the 3 part series)”

A Vintage Retroman’s Plea From The “Green Hill Zone” Part 3, “The Recovery?”- (Finale of the 3 part series)

Yes my friends, you are about to find out the exciting conclusion of the 3 part series. Oh sure the Green Hill Zone is beautiful, but deadly! Part 1 in the series described how Vintage Retroman was captured and abandoned in the dangerous tropics of the Green Hill Zone from Sonic The Hedgehog. Part 2 captured the setting of how Sonic was resting on vacation with Amy, away from his troubles. All of a sudden, he got a terrifying message and his vacation was cut short. Will Sonic make it in time? Will Vintage Retroman’s demise be in the Green Hill Zone? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of my plea from the Green Hill Zone! You don’t want to miss this one! Enjoy friends!

(Scene is Sonic and Amy going ultra fast down Speed Highway)

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Come on Amy, drive faster why can’t you push this thing?/

No time to power up by jumping on computers or rings/

V.R.’s in trouble, we cant afford to waste any time/

If we don’t move forward he could permanently be left behind/

I know Green Hill, I know the traps and all of the snares/

How could I be off my game, relaxing without a care?/

(Amy chimes in) “Sonic, you’re being way to hard on yourself/

You never take any time off, you never tend to your health/”

“How do you expect, to work with no rest you don’t hear me?/

I have heard the expression Sonic, there is no rest for the weary”/

(Sonic responds) Amy, you keep me sane and I greatly appreciate/

Thank you for your support I just hope that we’re not too late…….

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**Cut scene to Vintage Retroman**

(Coughing loudly while talking) Sonic………. I’m at the end I cannot go any longer/

I’ve been attacked by Moto Bugs and crabs that shoot fireballs/

I went around a loop and all I saw was a bee named Buzz Bomber/

He shot his stinger and I fell on the other side of the waterfall/

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I tried grabbing those rings and it was ineffective/

I tried running fast like you, and I just ran out of breath/

I tried finding the secrets and avoiding the traps/

When I jumped over the spikes, I fell hard and collapsed/

Goodbye Sonic and Tails, farewell my good friends/

My eyes are closing right now and I can see the cruel end/

I look up at the blue sky and as I lay back my head/

but right before I close my eyes I catch a small glimpse of red?/

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*V.R. passes out right outside of the 2nd loop in the Green Hill Zone*

*V.R. is being dragged and hears an unfamiliar voice*

“Come on, come on, I didn’t sign up for a workout today/

I knew Sonic was on vacation so figured it was time to play/

Searching for Chaos Emeralds in a rare visit to Green Hill/

I found something so unlikely that it gave me the chills/”

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“Who is this man, I found in the water unconscious?/

With wounds all over, dehydrated, and his knees buckled/

Who is this guy that’s passed out and why is he unresponsive?/

Who saved his life? It is I, none other than the great Echidna, Knuckles!/”

*Sonic shows up and crosses the wooden bridge leading into the Green Hill Zone*

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(Sonic responds) Knuckles, get your big hairy paws off Vintage Retroman!!/

(Knuckles responds) “Oh Sonic, that’s some type of way to treat your Vintage Retro friend!/

I hope you enjoyed your so called vacation, today I don’t want to fight/

I saved your friends life, so at least a thank you would be really nice!!/”

(Vintage Retroman responds) Sonic he’s right, Knuckes saved me so you can’t be upset/

Even the fastest thing alive I would never expect/

You to be perfect/

Sonic, you did the best that you could/

Swallow your pride because what Knuckles did for me was so good/

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Tails got the plane fixed, I heard Dr. Eggman was in custody/

I know you and Knuckles haven’t always seen completely eye to eye/

But even if you don’t trust the red echidna from Sonic 3/

He deserves your respect, because for me he did the ultimate deed/

(Sonic Responds) V.R. you’re right, I’m glad you’re safe and that your struggle is over/

Knuckles I’m sorry, and thank you for your service my brother/

You rescued Vintage Retroman, which proved you have no fear bro/

From here on out, me, you and Tails are known as the Sonic Heroes!/

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**And that my friend’s, are how the Sonic Hero’s came into existence! Well, at least in another universe :)**

THE END!!!!

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the series! Please feel free to post comments in the comment section below! I will be starting a new series in a few weeks so stay tuned! Signing off for now!

V.R.

V.R.

0 comments on “Inside The Mind Of The Gamer, Time To “Level Up””

Inside The Mind Of The Gamer, Time To “Level Up”

I’m about to level up! The term has many meanings in this life. I believe in next level thinking. Always looking ahead. Only reflecting back but never going backwards. Pressing forward, but never forget where you started and where you came from. I believe that the above song by the rap group Social Club Misfits may be a very fitting anthem for all of my game lovers and retro fans out there. The music, the lyrics, and the crowd all get me excited every time I hear this song and watch this video. Yet as I listened to this song, I felt inspired to share a “level up” experience with my readers out there. I will encourage you to search for the hidden meanings in the text, because you do not have to be a gamer to understand the importance of the “level up” experience inside the mind of the gamer.

I recently sat down with a good friend of mine who is a die hard gamer. He decided to keep his real name discreet, but in the gaming community he is known as Mr.Metroid64. I had a chance to do a one on one interview with him, get information and objectively capture a glimpse of the essence of what the inside of the gamer’s mind looks like. What I discovered truly astounded me. I have recorded the official interview for you, my reader:

Vintage Retroman: Thank you for sitting down with me today and taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts with me on your perspective of the gaming community and what it stands for.

Mr.Metroid64: No problem, I’m always happy to help! As creator’s we need to lift each other up and help each other you know? I completely and unequivocally understand how important feedback is.

Vintage Retroman: Absolutely! So let’s talk a little bit about specific gaming characters. Who are your favorites off of the top of your head?

Mr. Metroid64: Man, there are so many. I would say Samus Aran, Link, Megaman and Mario, for starters. Although they were not the first characters in gaming by any means, they helped revolutionize mainstream gaming over many years.

Vintage Retroman: Very interesting! Lets dive into that a bit. I am going to go one by one and you tell me how each specific character impacted you, starting with Samus Aran from the NES classic, Metroid.

Mr. Metroid64: Well, Samus is a legend in her own right. During a time when there was no female representation of characters on the gaming stage in the mid 1980’s, Nintendo broke the gender barrier with making Samus the central hero in Metroid. When you think about the decade that this happened in, it was a defining moment because she is the original “gamer girl.” Her story, a child who had her life stolen from her and left with virtually nothing, was adopted and embraced by a new culture. Within the story, The Federation Police who trained her to be a warrior and eventually defeat Mother Brain and save the universe is so compelling. In my eyes, essentially the story of Metroid is one that says “You’re not alone, and it’s okay to be different.”

Vintage Retroman: Wow! That is some deep stuff! I appreciate your insight! So next on your list is one of my favorite characters of all time, which is Link from the Legend Of Zelda. Tell me your thoughts on how Link affected you growing up?

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Mr. Metroid64: To be brave and courageous in this life can be a daunting task at times. Link is the epidome of the “Heroes” Hero. From the beginning of the original Legend Of Zelda for the NES, as Link entered the cave with the old man, the words still echo through my head, “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.” From the moment young Link hoisted up the wooden sword, and the player heard that heroic jingle, it still gives me goosebumps. There are life lessons we can learn from games like Zelda, because they tell a great story. One of heroism, love, compassion, loyalty, and persistence in failure. I died so many times in Zelda it is not even funny. There are truly life lessons in the amazing story of how Link loved princess Zelda, and how he would slay every creature from Moblins to Tektites in the Kingdom Of Hyrule, to rescue his damsel in distress. That evil Gannon was and still is no match, for the great green clothed warrior Link!

Vintage Retroman: Wow, incredible insight into the world of Hyrule! You know I remember being a little kid, making a homemade wooden sword from my dad’s 2×4′ wood planks in our shed, and taking the metal trash can top and running around my back yard as if it were Hyrule Field. I would battle fictitious Octoroks, all while humming the Hyrule song. You brought me back to that time. Thank you!

Mr. Metroid64: No problem! That is what it is all about, the nostalgia you get in the gaming frame of mind V.R. 🙂

Vintage Retroman: Very true, very true. Next up, you mentioned a man that my actual logo was framed after, didn’t you? The fighting robot himself! The most mega of any man in the robot universe, Megaman!

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Mr. Metroid64: Megaman is definitely one of the most influential game hero’s of all time. The half robot figure created by Dr. Light in year 20xx is a fan favorite for so many reasons. In my mind though, there is a deeper meaning behind simply defeating a robot master and taking his power. What makes Megaman unique is the way that he studies his enemies. He is about fighting for what he believes in and learning from mistakes, so he can adapt better to his surroundings. That is a life lesson that many of us could use these days. Attack the enemies of depression, self doubt, and anxiety. Then turn around and take their powers from bad and use them for good to help others. It is easier to attack someone’s depression when you have battled being depressed and been victorious over it. It is called a testimony. Megaman taught me to be strategic in the battles that I have fought, and how to take the bad and use it for good. Do you know what I am saying V.R.?

Vintage Retroman: I completely understand and agree. The first time that I beat Cutman in the original game and took his power to shoot those small scissors out of my gun, I was so excited. Now, I am even more excited because you have given me a different perspective. Since I have been damaged in the past and have conquered bad situations, I vow to use the weapons of goodness and positive thinking that I have acquired over the years to help others in their fight’s and struggles. Good stuff Mr. Metroid64

Mr. Metroid64: Think nothing of it Vintage Retroman. 🙂

Vintage Retroman: So last on your short list you mentioned none other than the legend himself, Super Mario! I am anxiously anticipating how in the world the plumber in red clothes with the M on his hat could have possibly had a profound impact on your life. 🙂

Mr. Metroid64: Ok, so think about the original Super Mario Bro’s for the Nintendo Entertainment System right? Now fast forward to 2017 with the release of the beautiful Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch. Where has Mario not been? He started in the Mushroom Kingdom, but he has been all around the world, and even out of this world to different planets in Super Mario Galaxy. He has fought Goomba’s and Koopa Troopa’s from the sunny shores in Super Mario Sunshine, to the icy tundra’s in Mario 64 and many other games. He has went missing. He has taught kids how to type in Mario Teaches Typing. He has been a doctor in Dr. Mario. He has been a professional boxing referee (See Mike Tyson’s Punchout for the NES). What has Mario not done? He recently even stared in a game called Super Mario Maker, where millions of gamer’s worldwide can create new levels for him to complete! Mario has simply taught me to enjoy life. Try new things, expand and grow, and never be stale. Do great things, while still being yourself and letting nothing or no one change who you are.

Vintage Retroman: Wow, this is a take on Mario that I have never thought about before! Thank you Mr. Metroid64. I have always enjoyed the Super Mario series, and even before that when it was simply Mario Bros. Great perspective on the red plumber! Well, I know our time is up and thank you for everything.

Mr. Metroid64: No problem Vintage Retroman. May I ask you one question before we adjourn our meeting? Why do you think that sometimes, people have the perception of the gaming community that we are just nerds, geeks, that play games all day and do not understand real life? I mean, we have jobs, families, and lives too. Why is that?

Vintage Retroman: It is my opinion Mr. Metroid64, that they just simply don’t understand our culture or influence as gamers. The gaming and retro communities are close knit. It does not matter where you are from, what age you are (or as we call it, what level you have reached), or whether you are primarily retro or an all around gamer. In our community from my experience, the color of your skin does not matter. Male or female, doesn’t matter. Single or married, does not matter. We are not a cult. We are simply a community of people who are united by the feelings of nostalgia and fun in gaming! Whether it’s Sonic The Hedgehog 1 or the new God Of War for the PS4, we just want to level up! Level up in gaming, as we level up in age. Collectively we support each other to level up in life. That is my take on it. Thank you for the question. 🙂

Mr. Metroid64: Thank you for your time as well Vintage Retroman!

Vintage Retroman: To my readers, this is Vintage Retroman and Mr. Metroid64, signing off for now.

V.R.

5 comments on “The Lightbulb Moment. Music And Video By Andy Mineo Entitled, “Now I Know”. An Official V.R. Review.”

The Lightbulb Moment. Music And Video By Andy Mineo Entitled, “Now I Know”. An Official V.R. Review.

Truth and realization of the world around us are something we all experience at some point in our lives. How many times as adults have we come to the conclusion that our perception’s are not reality? Our worldview is shaped by many different influences. It may be our parents, other family members, teachers, church members, or a number of other outside influences that affect the way we view life. That is what this song is all about, and I love it!

This song reminds me of my childhood, and it most likely will take most of you back to the past as well. I still remember growing up and watching shows on TV feeling like that was real life. I was so naive with love as an adolescent and a young adult, feeling like marriage would be like a ferry tale. That is, until i went through a divorce a few years ago and learned the rough side of love. Growing up I thought my family was a perfect replica of the Cosby show in the 1980’s, until one day 20+ years later my father broke down and told me i had 2 other siblings i had never met. I am sure that was difficult for my father to tell me, but i always respected him for doing it. I thought people were generally good and accepting, until i fell on hard times and many of my “friends” deserted me. I thought social media was how most people really lived, until i realized that mostly everyone puts their best face on for the camera. Now i know better.

I learned that although all that glitters isn’t made of gold, there is still a sparkle in the glitter. We may go through hard times, but there is beauty in the struggle. We may weep in the night, but joy comes in the morning. The sooner we understand that life is more than a rollercoaster but an amusement park, the better. What i mean is that there are several unpredictable games and rides, not just one. The key is in my value statement, “Never let life dictate how far you can make it.” Life has it’s twist and turns, but God can and will straighten the paths if you have faith in Him. When some piece of truth comes in and rocks your world, do not freeze in fear. It is part of your experience and God is using it for good. Remember, if you let your life dictate how far you can make it, it is easy to stop striving because you may feel that your past and current experiences are what defines you, and that’s not true. You were made for excellence. You are special. Everything happens for a reason. Respect that, confess that, and digest that. Signing off for now.

V.R.

6 comments on “Beyond The Horizon- The Beauty Of The “Staycation””

Beyond The Horizon- The Beauty Of The “Staycation”

Beyond the horizon, in my mind I am headed to Horizons park. The name has echoed through my head enough the past 72 hours. Beyond the horizon I can see it. One of my favorite places to visit growing up. My family of 10 would fill up dad’s old white station wagon and leave our home in east Winston-Salem and take the short drive over to the sleepy town of Germanton, NC. My parents knew how to fill up the cooler the right way, with chips, sweet snacks, and Capri Suns!

This was the 1980’s, so pulling up to the park we would always see teenagers with big George Michael styled haircuts playing frisbee in the big field bordering the park’s entrance. Young kids playing horseshoes and volleyball dressed in styles that varied from that of the music group New Edition to pop artist Rick Astley. These were great times. My parents would find the perfect picnic table, fire up the grill and start the barbeque. I can remember having my first childhood kiss here. I was 6 years old and it ironically happened at a church picnic; pure innocence, pure bliss.

As the warm summer breeze would rustle the trees, I remember as a kid looking around at the beauty of nature. The true essence of this feeling is captured in the classic song Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft. Even back then, the feelings of euphoria and nostalgia would engulf my very being. My brothers and sisters playing games. My mother asking me to sample delicious food fresh off of the grill. We literally would spend the whole day at the park, heading home at dusk. As the day would come to a close, It was a feeling best described by the lyrics of the song “Golden Time Of Day” by Frankie Beverly and Maze. During the ride home us kids generally would be passed out in the station wagon. When we arrived home after what always seemed like a long ride, my parents would carry me into the house, and I wouldn’t even realize that I was asleep until I woke up the next morning.

Summer Breeze https://g.co/kgs/gnWx6Q

Golden Time of Day https://g.co/kgs/u6xHtL

Growing up, I never realized the profound impact these events would have on my life. My parents didn’t have much so the occasional day trip or ‘Staycation’ meant so much to us kids! Coming from a large, lower income family, we could not afford family vacations growing up however these day trips provided something priceless in my book, great memories. Fast forward 25-30 years and it’s amazing how I try to capture these same feelings with my own family. With more resources and access, I find it ironic that at times it can be more difficult to capture the time capsules of memories like I used to as a kid. Still, we have moments in our family now where I see a resemblance to the days of old and I love it!

The morals of the story are, never underestimate the power of a good staycation. Life is not always about taking large-scale trips around the globe. Money can’t buy happiness. The beauty of the outdoors is irreplaceable. Most importantly, life is worth living. I don’t know what you may be going through right now but I know life can be difficult. Could it be that a short ‘staycation’ is exactly what you need? I challenge you to give it a shot and report back in the comment section of this article how things went. Signing off for now,

V.R.